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NAMA's ¤477m bank discount

NAMA paid €477m less to the banks to take account of poor documentation associated with property loans, Michael Noonan has said.

The finance minister said in a written Dail response to Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty, that arising from reviews of the loans by NAMA, "it was necessary to impose appropriate legal discounts".

"To account for these and to account also for financial obligations identified during the course of legal review, downward adjustments aggregating to €477m were made to the acquisition value paid by NAMA," he said.

Knee-powered gadgets test

ELECTRONIC gadgets could be powered by knees.

Scientists have tested an "energy harvester" electricity generator designed to be strapped to the knee.

Walking motion causes plectrum-like tabs within the device to "pluck" energy generating arms, causing vibrations that produce electrical current.

So far researchers have only been able to generate a tiny two milliwatts, but improvements are expected to yield more than 30mW.

Quarter work while on holiday

PEOPLE who go on holiday for a week only actually get three days of proper rest because it takes four days to switch off from the pressures of work. a new survery has found.

People felt most relaxed on the fourth day of a holiday, researchers said.

One in four of those surveyed said they worked while on holiday, while one in five workers does not take all their holidays.

Forced abortion apology made

CHINA suspended three officials and apologised to a woman who was forced to undergo an abortion seven months into her pregnancy.

The case has renewed criticism of China's widely hated one-child limit, which has led to forced abortions and sterilisations as local authorities pursue birth quotas set by Beijing.

Feng Jianmei (27) was beaten by officials and forced to abort the baby at seven months because her family could not afford a 40,000 yuan (¤4,986) fine for having a second child.